Black History Month Celebrates African-American Women

Public Affairs Programs

February 7, at 7 p.m. – The Faces of Poverty Special

As part of an ongoing initiative to serve our listeners in the public interest, WNCU 90.7 FM invites you to listen to and participate in a community-based program February 7 beginning at 7 p.m. Our forum entitled “The Faces of Poverty in North Carolina” will provide a platform to talk about the “Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina” that seeks to examine poverty in rural counties and inner city neighborhoods in the state. The North Carolina NAACP, the N.C. Justice Center and the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity are sponsoring the tour.

WNCU will broadcast live from the auditorium of the H. M. Michaux Jr. School of Education Building on the campus of North Carolina Central University. Dr. Jarvis Hall, a political science professor at NCCU, will moderate the forum. This event is free and open to the public.

February 14, at 7 p.m. – Maya Angelou’s Special

Storied poet, author, educator and activist Dr. Maya Angelou will present intimate conversations illuminating African American comedy, film, family life and poetry. Congressman John Lewis will share some of his experiences during the civil rights era. Professor Nikky Finney will share stories of growing up in a civil rights family. Mary J. Blige will discuss the five years she spent preparing for the role of Nina Simone. Dr. Julianne Malveaux will discuss the impact of the civil rights movement on education. Finally, Ambassador Andrew Young will speak on the fight for equality. For more info, click here.

February 21, at 7 p.m. – Dick Gregory’s Special

There is nothing like a good laugh to make a bad situation easier to bear. The challenge of creating humor out of something as bleak and tragic as racism in America fell into the hands of Dick Gregory a young man from Chicago with an acerbic wit and a charismatic presence. From the Vault is part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project.

February 28, at 7 p.m. – Black Panther’s Special

The Black Panther Party is one of the most controversial and misunderstood groups coming out the Black Power Movement in the 1960′s. Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, founded The Black Panther Party in October 1966 . They created a 10-point program to address political oppression, poverty, joblessness, hunger, housing, and the lack of justice in the black community.

In February of 2008, Pacific Radio Archives Production Coordinator Edgar Toledo teamed up with longtime archives volunteer Debbie Demery to help make sense of the controversy by sifting through a mountain of material to produce a collection of the most relevant Black Panther Party materials. From the Vault is part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project.

Music Programs

February 5, at 3 p.m. – Wailin’ Soul: Bob Marley and the African-American Connection

A 60-minute music rich special on Bob Marley and how African American music influenced him and Reggae music.

February 11, at 6 p.m. – Sly and the Family Stone Special

A one-hour music intensive radio documentary about the music and legacy of Sly and the Family Stone. Family Affair is hosted by Ben Fong-Torres, and includes a wide range of Sly and the Family Stone tracks – from the big hits (“Dance to the Music,” Everyday People,” and others) to deep cuts from all their albums. Some songs accentuate the points made by the many interview subjects, others speak for themselves. All of them stand up as examples of Sly Stone’s “watershed point in the development of rhythm and blues,” as detailed by biographer and journalist Joel Selvin.

Band members Rose Stone, Larry Graham, Greg Errico and Andy Newmark provide rarely-heard, first-hand accounts of the zeniths and nadirs of Sly Stone’s universe, taking us from their family roots to their mainstream success to later sessions “surrounded by really crazy people…out there in the twilight zone. Musicians Isaac Hayes and Chuck D break down how music from all those episodes influenced Sly’s contemporaries, as well as future generations of musicians.

February 19, at 7 p.m. – Duke Ellington’s Jump for Joy

In an age when the film and theater industries presented African Americans primarily as servants and porters, as fearful and clowning stereotypes, Duke Ellington dared to produce and grace a musical with the same dignity, wit, beauty, and unabiding hipness that he always brought to his band. Jump for Joy is a cultural milestone and another example of how this great American composer traversed the racial and aesthetic boundaries of his time. It was an all-black musical revue that Ellington said “would take Uncle Tom out of the theater and say things that would make the audience think.” The inspiration came from a late-night party, a convergence of Hollywood glamour and nascent civil-rights activism with one of America’s greatest jazz orchestras.

February 25, at 9 p.m. – Remembering Etta James and Johnny Otis

WNCU will pay tribute to two great musicians, Etta James and Johnny Otis, on Saturday, February 25, at 9 p.m. In this hour of The Blues & Beyond, we remember two greats, whose lives and careers actually intersected. Songstress Etta James died on January 20 at age 73. Blues performer Johnny Otis died at age 90 on January 17. James, one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, was discovered by Otis in the early 1950s. He produced her first hit, a record considered too risqué for radio called “Roll With Me Henry,” an answer song to Hank Ballard’s banned “Work With Me Annie.” Otis and James retitled it “The Wallflower” and managed to get it on the radio, and also to reach #1 on the Billboard R&B charts. Etta James went on to a troubled but successful career. Otis did everything in music, played, led bands, wrote, produced, scouted talent and owned a label. We’ll only scratch the surface, but at least we’ll manage to do that, in this hour of The Blues & Beyond.

February 26, at 4 p.m. – Zydeco Nation Special